Cosmos and Century squared off on Saturday with both sides featuring a full line up. Century stacked with Sri Lanka’s Pulasthi Gunaratne and the movement of Asela Jayasinghe back in its fold, along with the rest of the lineup, has been looking to get back in the winning column after posting a 1-4 season thus far. Cosmos, coming off two disappointing losses, had to get the W column ticking to stay alive for a berth in the Division 1 playoffs. Theo Mavro called the toss correctly and sent Century in to bat on a usual Wong Pitch, hoping to get a few early wickets with the dew still in play.
Cosmos managed to do just what was planned for the first session and the bowling, as well as fielding, unit responded to the plan. Jafar Naqvi removed Peshan Wedanarachchi off a beauty held on by Ali Shafi fielding at gully, and Wedanarachchi was soon followed by Shawn Dawson, bowled by Theo Mavro’s new found art of bowling. The play-of-the-day was Gurpreet Sandhu’s electric fielding at mid-off to deny Asela from stealing a single and the star batsman fell to a brilliant run-out.
Century was reeling 3 for 35 in 8. Cosmos kept herding the sheep and aligning them together, and by the 30th over Century was reduced to 125 for 6 after Gurpreet Sandu invited Malinda out of his crease and was stumped by Ali Mukadam for a well played 41 (49). The game was tilting in Cosmos’ direction but by time the pitch had settled and hardened for what followed; Pulasthi Gunaratne was on song with massive hits all around the park and took all the Cosmos’ bowlers to the cleaners ending with 87 off 52. Having been dropped early in his innings, he made sure that Cosmos paid for that drop. Marcus Stewart was the shielding from Pulasthi’s wrath with his pace and length and was also the pick of bowlers as he took 4 for 25 in his 7; the rest of the wickets were shared around. Century eventually was bowled out for 221 in 44, playing one less over than allocated.
222 to chase in 45. That score was already on the Board, however, the Cosmos batting line-up hasn’t been firing with the consistency it can, so a few changes were made to the line-up and Marcus Stewart was promoted up to open the inning with Abhimanyu Rajp. What followed next was a massacre and a pure delight of hard-hitting, as the pair took apart Century from the word “Go”. Marcus was leaving no stone unturned and took everything that he could get his hands on and skied it beyond the boundary line. Abhimanyu Rajp also did damage with his willow, while taking on the loose deliveries. Both batsmen took calculated risks.
The pair added 165 in 16 overs before Abhimanyu Rajp fell to a gem of a return catch by Malinda, diving low and to his left. Rajp went off with 60 off 44 balls, and Marcus soon followed in the 20th over with the team score on 177, having hammered 101 off 62 balls. Abhishekh Pawar (29) and Tirth Sanyal (21) took care of business, with ease and finesse. Pawar and Tirth finished off the game in the 32nd over giving Cosmos an eight-wicket victory.
Good luck to Century for the rest of the season. Cosmos will take on the new look Pegasus this Sunday.
Story courtesy of Cosmos Facebook Page.
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